Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 118

Verses 1-4

Psalm 118:1-29. After invoking others to unite in praise, the writer celebrates God‘s protecting and delivering care towards him, and then represents himself and the people of God as entering the sanctuary and uniting in solemn praise, with prayer for a continued blessing. Whether composed by David on his accession to power, or by some later writer in memory of the restoration from Babylon, its tone is joyful and trusting, and, in describing the fortune and destiny of the Jewish Church and its visible head, it is typically prophetical of the Christian Church and her greater and invisible Head.

The trine repetitions are emphatic (compare Psalm 118:10-12, Psalm 118:15, Psalm 118:16; Psalm 115:12, Psalm 115:13).

Let  …  say — Oh! that Israel may say.

now — as in Psalm 115:2; so in Psalm 118:3, Psalm 118:4. After “now say” supply “give thanks.”

that his mercy — or, “for His mercy.”

Verse 5

distress — literally, “straits,” to which “large place” corresponds, as in Psalm 4:1; Psalm 31:8.

Verse 6-7

Men are helpless to hurt him, if God be with him (Psalm 56:9), and, if enemies, they will be vanquished (Psalm 54:7).

Verse 8-9

Even the most powerful men are less to be trusted than God.

Verses 10-12

Though as numerous and irritating as bees [Psalm 118:12 ], by God‘s help his enemies would be destroyed.

Verse 12

as the fire of thorns — suddenly.

in the name, etc. — by the power (Psalm 20:5; Psalm 124:8).

Verses 13-16

The enemy is triumphantly addressed as if present.

Verse 15

rejoicing and salvation — the latter as cause of the former.

Verse 16

right hand … is exalted — His power greatly exerted.

Verse 17-18

He would live, because confident his life would be for God‘s glory.

Verses 19-21

Whether an actual or figurative entrance into God‘s house be meant, the purpose of solemn praise is intimated, in which only the righteous would or could engage.

Verse 22-23

These words are applied by Christ (Matthew 21:42) to Himself, as the foundation of the Church (compare Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Peter 2:7). It may here denote God‘s wondrous exaltation to power and influence of him whom the rulers of the nation despised. Whether (see on Psalm 118:1) David or Zerubbabel (compare Haggai 2:2; Zechariah 4:7-10) be primarily meant, there is here typically represented God‘s more wonderful doings in exalting Christ, crucified as an impostor, to be the Prince and Savior and Head of His Church.

Verse 24

This is the day — or period distinguished by God‘s favor of all others.

Verse 25

Save nowHebrew,Hosanna” (compare Psalm 115:2, etc., as to now) a form of prayer (Psalm 20:9), since, in our use, of praise.

Verse 26

Lord — As above intimated, this may be applied to the visible head of the Jewish Church entering the sanctuary, as leading the procession; typically it belongs to Him of whom the phrase became an epithet (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 21:9).

Verses 27-29

showed us light — or favor (Psalm 27:1; Psalm 97:11). With the sacrificial victim brought bound to the altar is united the more spiritual offering of praise (Psalm 50:14, Psalm 50:23), expressed in the terms with which the Psalm opened.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 118". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.